LISBON FALLS – Ann Marisa Kroken, 27, of Lisbon Falls, has received a $7,500 scholarship from the Harness Tracks of America.

She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and is in her final year at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

A winner of the scholarship last year as well, Kroken’s late father, Bill Whitcher, bred cattle and harness horses and trained a small stable on his farm in Pownal.

Kroken said her father’s love for the sport was contagious and that after her first ride on a jog cart, “I was hopelessly and irreversibly hooked, and my world changed.”

Kroken has raced two horses in New England since her father’s death two years ago, and said she cannot imagine a future without racing.

Following her graduation as a veterinarian in May, she plans to specialize in equine lameness.

Harness Tracks of America, based in Tucson, Ariz., offers annual scholarships for post-secondary education to sons and daughters of licensed drivers, trainers, caretakers, management or young people engaged in the harness racing industry themselves. Scholarships are awarded for one year and are based on academic merit, financial need and active harness racing involvement.

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